Breakups. They’re so fucken hard. It’s as if for one moment you feel alive, and suddenly you’re crippled. You can’t think about anything but that other person who once made you feel so good, even in the misery of the pain they caused. Food doesn’t taste the same. You can’t remember what it feels like to be happy. Your facial muscles yearn to revisit a genuine smile. You hate daylight, but fear nightfall, because in the day you’re reminded of the reality that you’re now minus that other person and come nightfall, a long series of flashbacks keep you awake and in tears.
You pray sleep takes pity of you, if only so that you can try to wake up the next morning only to find out that it was all a dream. I understand. I was feeling every bit of this when I broke up with Pan. I was tempted to do it via text because I was afraid that hearing his voice would only remind me of the good times which would erase all the bad.
I couldn’t do that.
Pan had not only disrespected me, he had crossed a line and put his hands on me. Everything in me said, this is the moment you leave. So, I did. Pan insisted we try to make it work. He tried his best to make me see how big of a deal I was making about something so small: he didn’t shout at me, he just had a loud voice. He didn’t push me, he tapped me. He didn’t disrespect me, he loved me.
The part of me that loved him tried to make me believe I was making a tsunami out of a raindrop. Pan’s words and actions were in the name of love. But that was my heart talking. My heart was dumb. My mind wasn’t. It said, run. It said this is the type of toxic relationship you’ve told your clients to run from. It said, that I, for some twisted reason, would fall hard for him, but that he would hurt my mind, body, and soul. It said, he is NOT ‘The One.’
I listened to my head for a while, but after seeing over thirty missed calls from Pan, and hearing his apologetic tone on my voicemail, my heart made me pick up the phone and call him back.
He answered on the first ring.
“Hello.” He said sounding hopeful.
“Hi.” I replied dryly. The moment I did, I felt ashamed of myself. I mean there I was calling a guy who claimed to love me but had crossed so many lines in the time we were together, to hurt me. Did I really think I deserved it? Was this what love was? Or was it simply what was familiar to me?
“How are you?” He asked.
I didn’t know how to answer. I felt like the question was rather an oxymoron considering Pan was very aware of what happen. Or was he? He had spent so much time demeaning the events that unfolded as he had from the beginning, that I wasn’t sure if he really cared about what happen.
“I’m okay.” I answered knowing very well that wasn’t true. I wasn’t okay. I was miserable. Tortured. Torn, because a part of me knew Pan wasn’t the guy for me, and yet another part of me didn’t care.
“How are you?” I asked.
That makes two of us, I thought.
“Can we meet up and talk?” He asked.
My head said FUCK NO! But my heart, my damn heart screamed YES!
I followed my heart straight into Pan’s car. He parked at the Jewel parking lot down the street from my house. He unbuckled his seat belt, leaned forward into the steering wheel, his gaze fixed straight ahead, and his mind clearly heavy.
“I wanna apologize about how I’ve been actin’ lately.” He said. “I’m not that guy. I’ve just been going through some things and I think I’ve been takin’ it out on you.”
“You think?” I asked.
“Ok… I’ve been taking it out on you. But there’s a reason for the way I’ve been acting.” He said.
“A reason,” he said. I wondered what the reasons were he could think of for body shaming me on our first date, and morally shaming me when we shish kabobbed? I wanted to know the reasons he felt he could call me out of my name. That he could put his hands on me. I wanted to know the reasons why he could be faced with all this, and never blink an eye to take any form of accountability. I wanted to know these things from him, but I also wanted the answers from myself. Why was I allowing it? Why did I keep coming back? Why didn’t I love myself enough to say ENOUGH!
Pan explained that he was overwhelmed with work and life. He wanted to do so many things and none of them ever seemed to go his way. He had dreams and aspirations, but they didn’t look like they would take flight, or so Pan believed.
“You can do anything you wanna do, babe.” I said wishing I hadn’t said babe. It gave him hope that we would get back together, but who was I kidding, we already were.
“Eliminate anyone in your life who doesn’t believe in you. They serve no purpose. I believe in you,” I said genuinely. “Even if nobody else does. I do.” I added.
That was the thing… I always believed Pan could do more things than me. I suppose that was one of my many mistakes. I wanted to fix him. Maybe I believed if I could fix him, somehow, I’d find myself.
“Thank you, babe.” He said with a smile.
Seeing his smile made my heart sink. It wasn’t love that did that, but the reality that told me, “This will become a pattern. Actions and excuses.” Pan had disrespected me in every way a woman can be disrespected, and yet with a few words, a sympathetic reason for his actions, a somber look, and a smile, I could forget it all. He had me completely. He knew this.
He knew this.
“I don’t wanna lose you.” He said. “I can take losing anything else in my life, but not you. I promise I’ll change. It’s gonna be different moving forward. I promise you. I’ll never talk about your body again. I’ll never call you anything besides Faiza, babe, baby, My Love, My Life, My Precious, My Queen, My Love Dove.” He said with a smile.
A smile I couldn’t help but share in.
My compassionate heart, the one that was accustomed to forgiving the unforgivable, let him back in. I considered everything he was going through because that’s what love does. It was love for me. I believed it was the same for him. That’s why he yearned to have me back. This, I said, must be love. So, I embraced him as tightly as he did me and once again, I was his.
I didn’t care about logic.
I didn’t consider what was right.
I only knew one thing, I had to be with him. I was a mess, until the moment he held me. I was angry, until he kissed me. I was over the relationship, until he said he loved me.
So, we agreed to start again, but better than we’d been. He was going to work to make things better and I believed him, because only in him did I feel happy. Even in the misery of it all.